Highest number of preventable deaths happen in Canadian Northwest Territories

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The Qikiqtani Hospital in Iqaluit. The report says there are more preventable deaths and illnesses in the North than in the rest of Canada. (CBC)Different factors contribute to high statistic, including healthy food, education, housing

Northerners lead the country in preventable deaths, according to a new study by the Canadian Institute for Health Information

Those are deaths in people under the age of 75 caused by injury or illness which could have been prevented or treated.

Keira Leeb, a health information officer with the institute, said there are a lot of reasons the North sees such high numbers.

“It’s hard to know what all of the factors are. You know, some of it also has to do with access to nutritional food and housing and education. All of those things are along the lines of the preventions side of the coin and we do know that there is a bigger gain in preventing deaths from the preventable side of things,” she said.

There is some good news though – in data collected between 1997 and 2008, Yukon led the country with the highest reduction of preventable deaths.

The institute also looked at numbers in the N.W.T. and Nunavut from 1999 to 2008.

The N.W.T. also showed a decline in preventable deaths, but the numbers rose sharply in Nunavut.

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